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 Censorship & Scandals
Cast of THE UNTOUCHABLESThe Untouchables - The police drama THE UNTOUCHABLES/ABC/1959-63 made a point to give a number of their mobsters Italian surnames during its early episodes. Outraged at this flagrant insult to the Italian-Americans everywhere, the Italian American League to Combat Defamation complained to the program's producers and urged them to curtail this blatant practice of portraying the Italian community in such a negative light.

In 1961, union boss "Tough Tony" Anastasia picketed outside the ABC New York Network headquarters and informed the show's sponsor Liggett & Myers that his longshoremen would delay the transportation of the company's products if something wasn't done about the portrayal of Italians on the show. Soon after, the folks at Liggett & Myers dropped their sponsorship of the program.

A short time later the executives at ABC sat down with members of the Italian community and soon the criminal characters of the program were more evenly represented by thugs and villains from all ethnic persuasions even a Russian mobster named Joe Vodka.

In addition, the program introduced more crime-fighting Italian-Americans like Agent Enrico Rossi (Nick Giorgiade) for a more balanced presentation.

 The Untouchables


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